DISCLAIMER: This one goes to my hardcore legalistic, hard core religious. Please see this as a warning that.. you most likely will cringe at ALOT of the following written. However, if you are legalistic, hard core religious and you don’t… congratulations and welcome.. to the TRUE heart of God!
Bare with me here.. one of the things that I have been processing so raw, for months now, is the mental health subject and ALL that bares, in MY life. The ‘complexity’ of what is all that resist the truth of it all and the things that, because of ‘my world,’ of culture, of religion, rules and regulations that have been instilled in the depths of me…I struggle with and become even more conflicted. Especially with what some, in the religious and normies of day to day may define as ‘mental illness’ or ‘mis-wiring,’
DIVERSITY.. something creating such a positive image in our minds, once upon a time. Diversity, defined by images of different colored hands entangled and holding each other. Speaking of loving and uniting every race and…. nope, just that, uniting every race. Oh how that’s change.
Diversity.. no longer is it about having different races, different ‘sizes’ or ‘shapes’ or ‘styles’… today, TRUE diversity is an image so difficult to fathom in so many minds and even greater difficulty is in trying to find images created to reflect the depths, today, of what TRUE diversity is. You know which one I’m speaking of, right?
Diversity.. my TRUE definition of diversity.. whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, African American, natives, humans of all skins tones, the heterosexual, the bisexual, the transgender, the transvestite, the agender, the androgyny, the androsexual, the asexual, bigender, and that goes on. To the one with the high IQ to the one with the more ‘average’ to ‘low’ IQ. To the one who speaks your native language. To the one that speaks their native language and in no way understands yours, vice versa. To the bipolar, to the borderline personality disorder having, to the one with dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder, to the severally depressed, to the schizophrenic, etc. To the wheelchair bound, to the blind, the deaf, and/or the mute. To the Christian denominational, to the Christian non denominational, to the atheist, to the Buddhist, to the Jewish, to the Catholic, to the mantra/yoga, meditation daily living… to name a few that define the DIVERSITY.
There is a word associated with DIVERSITY lately that, quite frankly, angers me. “TOLERANCE”… many times the expression is, “we just have to learn to not ‘accept’ but ‘tolerate’ each other.’ Now, this is a concept that, in my experience within ‘my world’ is a huge step from the complete intolerance to the ‘sinful’ and ‘demonic’ things I may have named under MY definition/description of DIVERSITY. Yet still, I find that shameful.
There are so many human beings caved and imprisoned within their own lives, minds, emotions, truths.. because as a society, as humans, as Christians, as creations believing in the power of “acceptance” refuse to simply EMBRACE and have compassion that stems from a passion to just want ALL to feel loved and accepted for who they are.
Why do I choose this topic in the midst of the focus of mental health… because of my personal experience. Where my mental health was simply enhanced and intensified by….Let me share it, and leave it ALL for your own interpretation.
As mentioned previously, I have been in “my world” for more than 10 years. For that entire time, and years before of being a part of religion and church on and off, I have heard sooooooo many preachings/teachings on the sin and intolerance that we, as the church, must have towards ‘sin’…the one in particular that I will refer to here will be the ‘sin of homosexuality.’ If you tolerate or ‘co exist’ with it, YOU are a sinner and ungodly because God rebukes and is disgusted by “that.” I have heard the condemnation of hell that is over those feeding into that ‘demon’ of homosexuality. I have seen and heard horrific testimonies of those who ‘came out’ to their religious parents and the result: be sent to a ‘movie like’ camp or school where you are taught, talked, or beat that demon and ‘mental condition’ out of you. For this reason, after years of that being instilled within me, one day.. while being so involved, serving, ministering, church leadership, respected, etc… I found myself kissing another woman.. a friend, a fellow Christian, more than that… a fellow leader, who worked along side me. For the first time in my life, voluntarily, I was sitting on this bed leaning in and kissing this woman, and I was a woman.
OH MY LANTA! oh the shame and destruction that came about.. I wont go into the long winded elaborate details.. at least not on this blog.. but, that was the beginning of the longest, I believe, 8 mths of my life. A hidden secret that ate me up alive and destroyed the depths of my soul.. because.. that kiss turned into an intense, life changing and altering, SECRET depth of my path. Never could I speak of it, because I would lose EVERYTHING, because I would have once again be a greater shame and disgust and disappointment.
Things got dark and well, the attempt of suicide came from this God loving Christian. I couldn’t even talk or pretend to look His way because.. oh, the disgust and utter shame. See, my the grace of MY higher power today, years later, I can sit here and share this story as a part of my journey, married to my husband and overcome an unhealthy BUT… I’m one of….. well, I am the minority.
Unhealthy and something I overcame.. not because it was another woman or just because of the religion part of it but because truly it became deadening, toxic and soul stealing relationship.
What if.. what if we were to not ‘tolerate’ but just LOVE? What would our world look like if I were to just tell you, “hey, I love you. I love the human you are.” what if we were just to manifest the ‘love’ that God dwells in. The one that says… “I don’t care, none of that matters, I LVOE YOU!”… what if we, as the church, as the people period, stop trying to be the judge of all judges to everyone’s “intolerable” diversity? what if we, as the ones defined by one of those descriptions of “diversity” weren’t so defense and took the time to educate the ‘ignorant’ and the ‘confused?’ Because at the end of the day, BOTH ends carry the weight of responsibility to bring about unity.
What if you allowed your ‘ignorance’ to meet, sit and greet the information and ‘truth’ that enlightens you to know beyond YOUR definitions, conceptions and perceptions? What if you allowed the love, the unconditional love you offer to the world, change it? Instead of using our discrimination, our hate, our misunderstanding ignorance, fear, confusion, legalisms, man distorted religion feed the cycle of secrecy… cycle of hate… cycle of division… cycle of hurt, fearful, creation bleeding diversity operate.. what if we were just to understand that EVERYONE is uniquely and beautifully, imperfectly designed with a purpose to fulfill and we are ALL simply here to walk towards our purpose as a humanity.
LOVE overcame even death.. I believe that.. because I believe in Him.. because I know that and because I dwell in that with Him.. I’ll tell you, I wont ‘tolerate’ ANYONE… I’ll just LOVE the hell out of you and whatever births from that.. its purpose will be greater than the simplicity of allowing myself to LOVE you.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:8, 11-12 NIV